The End to Roe v. Wade
In its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision announced on June 24th, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the unjust 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling which effectively opened the door to abortion across the land; this decision returns to individual states the opportunity to restrict or prohibit abortion, thereby protecting the lives of preborn children. This important Supreme Court decision will save the lives of millions of children who otherwise would never see the light of day or experience the warmth of a loving family.
I recognize, sadly, that in Massachusetts where abortion is already codified into state law, the Dobbs decision will have little impact. We must continue our efforts to defend the right to life for unborn children through advocacy and prayer. At the same time, we must also redouble our commitment to providing material and emotional support to expectant mothers who face a difficult or unintended pregnancy and those who find it difficult to care for their children after they are born. The Diocese of Fall River has a Pro-Life Apostolate whose mission is to provide support, assistance, and accompaniment to expectant mothers.
My hope and my prayer is that all men and women of good will, regardless of their faith tradition – or even if they have no faith – will work together to create a society where human life is respected in all stages and in every condition, especially the most defenseless and vulnerable among us.
Installation of Acolytes
Spring is a joyful season for me of confirmations, graduations, and ordinations. What a joy celebrating these special occasions in our Diocese, particularly this year, with so many of the faithful able to be in attendance.
Fifteen candidates studying for the Permanent Diaconate in the Fall River Diocese were installed as acolytes on Tuesday, June 21st. The ministry of acolyte is the second of two ministries that deacon candidates must receive and exercise as part of their preparation for ordination, God willing, these men will be ordained Permanent Deacons in 2023.
An Acolyte is one who assists a member of the clergy in a liturgical service. It is yet another ministry of service, bringing them ever closer to the altar as they continue on their journey of preparation for the Diaconate. They now enjoy the privilege, honor, and important responsibility of assisting the priest and deacon at the altar during Mass. They also will serve during liturgies, distribute holy Communion, and purify sacred vessels.
The names of the fifteen candidates installed to Acolyte can be found here.
What perfect time for this installation, as we begin the three-year National Eucharistic Revival, expressed so beautifully in the evening’s liturgy:
“The summit and source of the Church’s life is the Eucharist, which builds up the Christian community and makes it grow. It is your responsibility to assist priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry, and as special ministers to give holy communion to the faithful at the liturgy and to the sick. Because you are specially called to this ministry, you should strive to live more fully by the Lord’s sacrifice and to be molded more perfectly in its likeness. You should seek to understand the deep spiritual meaning of what you do, so that you may offer yourselves daily to God as spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Jesus Christ.”
Blessing of the Fleet and Fishermen
On Sunday, June 26th, I presided over the 75th Blessing of the Fleet, and the 25th anniversary of the Portuguese Festival, in Provincetown. There is a deep history between the fisherman and the Church, which this long tradition honors. Included in the festivities was the carrying of a statue of St. Peter, as you know was also a fisherman and whose feast we celebrate today, down MacMillan Pier in Provincetown as the procession of fishing families and others followed.
Happy Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29)
Happy Independence Day
May you and your family enjoy a safe and blessed 4th of July celebration.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha